You know how Jerry Seinfeld (et al) knew that Kramer’s business ideas were terrible and bound to fail before he even stopped explaining how they would work?
That happens in real life all the time, but luckily like Kramer, most people aren’t prepared to actually start a business for one reason or another.
These 15 people were, though, but their ideas were so flawed that everyone knew it was doomed from the start.
15. Part of this is a good idea.
A digital camera that looks like a classic Japanese 35mm point and shoot.
The memory card, which looks like a 35mm film roll and only has space for 36 images, has to be sent away like in the old days to get developed into prints that are mailed back a week later. It is/was on kickstarter.
14. Straight up theft.
In my country there was a guy who used to sell wood. The problem was he did not have any of it. So he would ask for payment and then not give the product afterwards, hoping that procrastination and time will make the problem go away.
He did 4 years in jail.
13. That’s just a bulletin board, my friend.
There was a guy in my town that opened a business that was the equivalent of a brick and mortar version of Craigslist or newspaper classified ads. It was a unit in a strip mall with bulletin boards.
You paid to put an ad up and other people came to look at the ads with a small picture. This was AFTER Craigslist existed, not some pre internet thing. There was no actual merchandise in the store, just crappy pictures of stuff with the contact info.
It wasn’t even a high foot traffic location, you had to maneuver through a busy intersection, park and go inside to look at a bulletin board.
It went under and he tried to blame the landlord because he couldn’t get a sign permit for the end of the building even though he had 2 other signs.
12. A tale as old as time.
My schoolmate at high school wanted to be a club manager. He organized a concert where he invited kinda famous foreign band to the local club. He paid so much money for them just to arrive + their expenses at the bar.
In the end like 20 people showed up, half of them were his friends. Fourtunately he had a very rich dad, so he paid for that and life went on.
The dude started selling art next day, no need to say he failed miserably again.
11. You don’t want those customers.
When I was in high school, one of my friends wanted to start a little coffeeshop/hot chocolate stand with a “cuddle corner” and “free hugs for anyone who wants them.” She offered jobs to our other friends — ex. the idea was that this little business would be operated and staffed by high schoolers.
She failed to see the issue with having 16 year old girls required give free hugs to customers or having to staff the cuddle corner.
10. The smell alone…
Father-in-law drove 18 hours down to Florida to catch shrimp, filled his tiny car with tons of the shrimp and drove back.
It took days to vacuum seal the shrimp that hadn’t gone bad only to sell a few bags to some friends, the car smelled like seafood for years
9. Information that would have been useful.
Guy I know got a small inheritance. Enough for a deposit on a unit or small house.
Nope! Sea-horse farm.
Turns out sea-horses are difficult to breed.
8. Research was needed.
Reminds me of a friend that tried to grow weed in the woods. Ended up working like a charm! He has so much weed he could barely pick it all.
Filled multiple garbage bags with it. Loaded the bags into his car. Then….well he didn’t research properly and just let it sit.
Hr tried to smoke some wet weed, but as you can guess, it wasn’t burning.. A few days later it was covered in hot mold and the car smelled like a planet sized skunk exploded in there.
7. It didn’t last.
Someone in Edmonton, Canada opened a dairy store; milk and cheese, and placed it across the street from a large grocery store.
He hoped that shoppers would buy everything they needed at the grocery store except their milk and cheese (which the grocery store had ample supply of) and make another trip to their store for milk and cheese.
It didn’t last.
6. Location, location, location.
In about 2005 my friends dad tried to start an arcade….in a small town, just outside walking distance from a school using beat up 2nd hand machines… To get there from the school youd have to walk by an established, larger arcade that also sold food….
Edit for the “uh aktchewalllly” crowd… I guess it was walking distance, just not a convenient walking distance. Sorry for poor wording.
5. Pizza is pizza.
A loudmouth drunk, supposedly an ex-NFL player from way back, opened a “fancy” pizza place across the street from the small town’s old favorite “normal” pizza place.
It was a pretty obvious attempt to put the old place out of business and corner the lucrative small town pizza market. The owner of the new place would get hammered and walk around to random tables to schmooze. He would loudly hit on the ladies in front of their dates.
It had really good pizza, but is was horribly overpriced and the portions were tiny. It went out of business pretty quickly.
4. Stalkers R Us.
Context: I live in Las Vegas.
When I was in my 20s, I was hired by a man who wanted to build “Myspace for Strippers.” His goal was for the men on the site to pay him to follow their favorite strippers and know what clubs they were dancing at and when.
He shut the project down (after months of paying me) when he found out that no stripper would sign up for it.
3. So much ew.
Monthly sex-toy subscription. You would get a different sex toy each month, which is an OK idea I guess, there’s one of those for everything nowadays, but the only problem this guy had is that he wanted the customers to eventually return the toy so he could pass it on to the next customer.
He actually got in talks with an owner of a local sex shop to help him start, but the enthusiasm flattened out quite quickly…
2. Didn’t quite think that one through.
One of the younger dudes in my karate class was going to start a handyman business. 24h, anything needing to be done, anywhere in our district.
Sounds good. You gonna get a loan and buy a used truck and get some tools? And you never have talk time on your phone, so will you get a landline (2006, so not super outlandish)?
“No, I’ll go on my bicycle. And I’ll just use the tools they have. And they can email me when they need service.”
Right because when I have water spraying out of my geyser through the ceiling at 3am I’m going to email a dude on a bicycle to come fix it using all the tools and the ladder I don’t own…
1. Completely delusional.
Someone in my neighborhood opened an artisan hot dog restaurant called “Everyone’s Frank” about a decade ago. My dad and I went in once at about 6 pm on a Saturday; we were the only customers, so the owner (who was working the register) chatted us up.
He talked about his plans to expand the business to about fifteen locations, which was completely delusional. He also talked about how much he spent on the interior redesign, which was pointlessly fancy.
The hot dogs cost $9 and tasted terrible. We never went back, and the place was bankrupt within six months (my dad always said they’d gone “frankrupt”)
I cannot even fathom why someone would think these were great, money-making ideas.
Do you have a personal example of this? Tell us the story in the comments!